Marathon County Public Library

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Staff Reviews / Book Reviews

Check out these book reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library, featuring reviews of fiction and nonfiction for adults, children and teens! These book reviews also are published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates.

"Salvage Secrets Design & Decor: Transform Your Home with Reclaimed Materials" by Joanne Palmisano

'Salvage Secrets Design & Decor: Transform Your Home with Reclaimed Materials' by Joanne Palmisano

★★★★★ This book contains refreshing ideas for recreating your space with repurposed and recycled materials. What better way to make a truly one-of-a-kind and personalized space? I found some really beautiful ideas that I can't wait to incorporate into my home! ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Salvage Secrets Design & Decor: Transform Your Home with Reclaimed Materials" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Medici Boy" by John L'Heureux

'The Medici Boy' by John L'Heureux

★★★★ Set in fifteenth century Florence, this novel is written as a confession and memoir by Luca Mattei, a devoted assistant to the great artist Donatello. Luca writes about living in the infamously sinful city of Florence and about the intimate details of life in Donatello's workshop. A collision of politics, art, and forbidden passions, this is a tale full of secrets and an inside look at the persecution of great men for the personal gain of ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "The Medici Boy" at Goodreads.com. »

"Little Green Peas: A Big Book of Colors" by Keith Baker

'Little Green Peas: A Big Book of Colors' by Keith  Baker

★★★★ The peas from the alphabet sensation LMNO Peas have returned for a new adventure exploring color. From green gardens to purple mountains to the red colors of fall, the peas see color everywhere. This book is recommended for toddlers and preschoolers who will gain color knowledge and letter knowledge from the vibrant, fun illustrations. ...

Reviewed by Taylor W. Read more reviews of "Little Green Peas: A Big Book of Colors" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Boleyn Reckoning (The Boleyn Trilogy, #3)" by Laura Andersen

'The Boleyn Reckoning (The Boleyn Trilogy, #3)' by Laura Andersen

★★★★★ In the thrilling conclusion of this trilogy about the Boleyn King who never was, Minuette finds herself caught between the king’s increasingly obsessive love and her loyalty to her secret husband Dominic. As the backdrop to this love triangle, Catholic and Protestant factions vie for power, causing families, friendships, and political loyalties to fracture. Most impressive of all is Andersen’s believable, yet imagined, historical setti ...

Reviewed by Anna C. Read more reviews of "The Boleyn Reckoning (The Boleyn Trilogy, #3)" at Goodreads.com. »

"Allegiant (Divergent, #3)" by Veronica Roth

'Allegiant (Divergent, #3)' by Veronica Roth

★★★★★ The intriguing conclusion to the Divergent series, this book will be hard to put down. Tris and Four continue to search for answers and a way to put the pieces of their broken lives back together. What began with a choice that changed their lives forever continues to be a journey of choices and tough lessons in love, courage, truth, and sacrifice. ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Allegiant (Divergent, #3)" at Goodreads.com. »

"A Dog Called Homeless" by Sarah Lean

'A Dog Called Homeless' by Sarah Lean

★★★★★ A year after her mother’s death, Cally sees her mother at the cemetery but no one will believe her. Worse yet, no one wants her to talk about her mother. She continues to see her mother often along with a friendly wolfhound and an elderly homeless man. She volunteers to not talk for a day at school to help raise money for a children’s hospice home and decides to continue her silence since no one wants to listen to her or talk about her ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "A Dog Called Homeless" at Goodreads.com. »

"Douglas Fairbanks and the American Century" by John C. Tibbetts

'Douglas Fairbanks and the American Century' by John C. Tibbetts

★★★★ Fans of silent cinema will enjoy this in-depth look at the films of Douglas Fairbanks, the swashbuckling hero from such silent classics as The Mark of Zorro and Robin Hood. While not for readers looking for a biographical account of Fairbanks’s life and his marriage to Mary Pickford, this volume is perfect for those who are more interested in a cinematic retrospective. The authors are very thorough with their presentation of the many fil ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "Douglas Fairbanks and the American Century" at Goodreads.com. »

"My Accidental Jihad" by Krista Bremer

'My Accidental Jihad' by Krista Bremer

★★★★★ A captivating and moving memoir about a women's journey through love, interethnic marriage, parenthood, and life. This memoir follows Krista from her surfing days to a journalism career to a chance encounter with a runner that eventually leads to a discovered pregnancy, and soon a cross-cultural marriage. The author shows us her experiences being married to a Muslim man, her own journey with religion, and the experience of a different cult ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "My Accidental Jihad" at Goodreads.com. »

"Knack Body Language: Techniques on Interpreting Nonverbal Cues in the World and Workplace" by Aaron Brehove

'Knack Body Language: Techniques on Interpreting Nonverbal Cues in the World and Workplace' by Aaron Brehove

★★★★ I have read a number of books on the "science" of non-verbal communication i.e. "body language" and this book was one of the better ones I have read. Scientists have indicated that most communication occurs non-verbally via body signals which we give out unconsciously. While our words convey some meaning, some studies indicate that non-verbal communication accounts for upwards of 75% of what is conveyed to others. The idea behind the book ...

Reviewed by Marsha Y. Read more reviews of "Knack Body Language: Techniques on Interpreting Nonverbal Cues in the World and Workplace" at Goodreads.com. »

"Nantucket Red (Nantucket, #2)" by Leila Howland

'Nantucket Red (Nantucket, #2)' by Leila Howland

★★★★ A sequel to Nantucket Blue, Nantucket Red finds protagonist Cricket Thompson newly graduated from high school. Cricket is accepted to Brown University with a coveted spot on the lacrosse team, and heads back to Nantucket in order to earn money for the Ivy League life. Soon after arriving, one night on the island causes Cricket's future to be thrown up in the air. She's forced on a journey to discover just who she is and what she wants. A h ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "Nantucket Red (Nantucket, #2)" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)" by Graeme Simsion

'The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)' by Graeme Simsion

★★★★★ This quick and entertaining read follows geneticist Don Tillman, as he devises a plan to find the perfect wife while bypassing the social awkwardness of actual dating. Just when Don has it all figured out, he meets Rosie. Although Rosie meets none of Don's wife criteria, she quickly becomes his friend as they work together to find her biological father. A beautiful tale of self-discovery and human flaws, this book will keep you reading as ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)" at Goodreads.com. »

"This Song Will Save Your Life" by Leila Sales

'This Song Will Save Your Life' by Leila Sales

★★★★ Elise has always struggled to make friends, so much so that she had even once turned to suicide as an answer to her loneliness. After her failed attempt at suicide, she continued to be a loser at school. Just as Elise is resigned that her life will never get better and be what she knows it could, she haphazardly discovers an underground dance club. This club not only helps her to make some real friends, it also helps her to discover that ...

Reviewed by Ashley C. Read more reviews of "This Song Will Save Your Life" at Goodreads.com. »

"I Don't Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star" by Judy Greer

'I Don't Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star' by Judy Greer

★★★ You may know Judy Greer from her numerous roles as a co-star in movies such as 13 Going on 30 and The Wedding Planner, and her collection of essays is perfect for readers looking for a light read this summer. Greer has a tendency to ramble as she recounts her life and her career as an actress. Sometimes she is quite funny, especially the essay describing a red carpet dress disaster, but other essays seem almost forced and less engaging. Pa ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "I Don't Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Registry" by Shannon Stoker

'The Registry' by Shannon Stoker

★★★★★ Looking for a new dystopian trilogy? Look no further! This is a book that will be hard to put down and will leave you wishing you had the next book. In this new America, girls are raised to be brides and sold to the highest bidder, and boys are raised to be soldiers ready to fight. Follow eighteen year old Mia as she goes on a journey to be a free woman and see what happens to create "The Registry". ...

Reviewed by Heather B. Read more reviews of "The Registry" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Painter" by Peter Heller

'The Painter' by Peter Heller

★★★★★ Peter Heller brings us a beautifully written novel about a famous New Mexico artist names Jim Stegner whose life seems to spiral around in destructive chaos. Jim has a history of violence and loss, but is trying to move forward as he finds a new home that offers him peace and quiet, a place to paint, and great fishing. However, Jim's peaceful existence is not to be, as he comes head to head with a wrong he can't walk away from. A tale of b ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "The Painter" at Goodreads.com. »

"I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban" by Malala Yousafzai

'I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban' by Malala Yousafzai

★★★★★ This fascinating and thought provoking memoir takes us into the world of schoolchildren in the Swat Valley of Pakistan; a world not often experienced by outsiders since the takeover of the Taliban. Malala faces adversity, including the brutal attack in which she was shot in the face by the Taliban, with the courage that comes from being passionate about every child's right to receive an education. This book inspires compassion, understandi ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Untold" by Courtney Collins

'The Untold' by Courtney Collins

★★★★★ This brilliantly told story of Jessie Hickman, a female horse thief, set in 1920s Australia is a darkly captivating must read. Based on the real life Jessie Hickman, the story unfolds as the tough and free-spirited Jessie tries desperately to procure her freedom from her abusive husband and captor Fitz. This novel will rope you in and hold your attention to the very end! ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "The Untold" at Goodreads.com. »

"The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Street-wise Cat" by James Bowen

'The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Street-wise Cat' by James   Bowen

★★★★★ A continuation of his first book, "A Street Cat Named Bob," Bowen details more adventures with his beloved and extraordinary cat, Bob, and provides further insights into his own life. It is heart-warming once again to witness the transformative power of the human/animal bond and the lessons that can be learned if one's heart is open to them. I freely admit to being a cat lover, but any person with an open heart will love both books. They c ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Street-wise Cat" at Goodreads.com. »

"Say What You Will" by Cammie McGovern

'Say What You Will' by Cammie McGovern

★★★★ Meet Amy and Mathew, two teens with different types of disabilities who somehow find one another and become best friends. When Amy leaves for college, they both need to realize their limitations or abilities, and learn to adapt to life without one another. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of recently popular teen fiction. This book explores people with disabilities in an unexpected way and succeeds in helping the rea ...

Reviewed by Ashley C. Read more reviews of "Say What You Will" at Goodreads.com. »

"Life's That Way: A Memoir" by Jim Beaver

'Life's That Way: A Memoir' by Jim Beaver

★★★★★ Life's That Way is a beautiful and moving memoir by Jim Beaver, the talented actor who I came to know from the TV series Supernatural. His memoir is a heartbreaking, touching, but also uplifting recounting of his wife's battle with cancer and daughter's battle with autism. Told through the heart-wrenching emails Jim Beaver sent to their family and friends, he writes with a strength and beauty that astounded me. I couldn't stop reading. Jim ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "Life's That Way: A Memoir" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Perfume Collector" by Kathleen Tessaro

'The Perfume Collector' by Kathleen Tessaro

★★★★ This is a lovely, yet predictable novel about a woman who inherits an apartment in Paris from someone she has never met. Grace is living unhappily in England when she discovers the mysterious Eva d'Orsey left her a beautiful apartment and a generous stock portfolio. A richly-detailed work of historical fiction, Tessaro weaves together the duo plotlines of Grace in the 1950s and Eva in the 1920s. Grace unravels the mystery of an abandoned p ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "The Perfume Collector" at Goodreads.com. »

"In New York" by Marc Brown

'In New York' by Marc Brown

★★★★★ Learn about New York City, the beloved home to the author and illustrator of this book! This is a great book for elementary school aged children, who will learn facts about New York's history to the present day. Of course all of the landmarks are beautifully depicted through the artwork and illustrations of this book. You definitely get the feeling that the author really loves his city and is excited to share it with young readers. Having ...

Reviewed by Ashley C. Read more reviews of "In New York" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra" by Helen Rappaport

'The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra' by Helen Rappaport

★★★★★ This book navigates the daily lives of the four Russian Grand Duchesses: Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia until their death in 1918. Rappaport discusses how unusual Alexandra’s upbringing of her children compared to other Russian royalty and also, how her ill health often affected her children’s lives. Rappaport also delves into the girls varying personalities and trials; from war-time activities to dealing with their brother’s he ...

Reviewed by Kate S. Read more reviews of "The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Stranger You Know (Maeve Kerrigan #4)" by Jane Casey

'The Stranger You Know (Maeve Kerrigan #4)' by Jane Casey

★★★★★ The most recent book in the Maeve Kerrigan detective series finds Maeve tracking a serial killer hunting young women throughout London. He leaves no clues behind, but the facts of the case have an eerie similarity to an incident her partner DCI Derwent was involved in during his teens. Maeve can't believe Derwent would be involved, but the more she begins to learn about his past, she starts to question everything. I highly recommend this b ...

Reviewed by Laura W. Read more reviews of "The Stranger You Know (Maeve Kerrigan #4)" at Goodreads.com. »

"Shotgun Lovesongs" by Nickolas Butler

'Shotgun Lovesongs' by Nickolas Butler

★★★★★ This debut novel from Wisconsin-based author Nickolas Butler is worthy of the abundant praise received from critics and readers. Set in the fictional rural town of Little Wing, Wisconsin, five friends undergo major life changes, from marriage to recording a bestselling album. Chapters are written from the perspective of each of the five as their friendship is tested. A character-driven novel, Butler gives each character depth, including fl ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "Shotgun Lovesongs" at Goodreads.com. »

25 | Based on the Goodreads API.